4 Easy Steps Towards Bigger Donations

2 11 2009

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Get More Cheese!

4 Easy Steps Towards Bigger Donations!

Do happier donors equal bigger bucks for your non-profit? Well, according to an article written in the Public Relations Review by Julie O’Neil, they do. Most non-profit studies seem to reiterate the importance of cultivating the relationship between the donor and the organization, especially in times of economic distress.

According to the findings of that study, there seems to be a two-year threshold for when donors’ perceptions of trust and satisfaction become relatively high and they begin to increase their donations; however, getting to this stage can be a daunting task for any organization.

Many organizations spend their time mass soliciting the public looking for new donors when they should be focusing on strengthening their ties with familiar donors. In a paper published in the Journal of Communication Management, Richard Waters said that “if an organization want to ensure its longevity, then it should be prepared to dedicate time to developing  relationships with its donors.”

So how do we best cultivate these relationships? Here are four easy steps:

1. Create interpersonal dynamics to generate trust with the donor. A recent Brookings Institution report indicated that donors were most concerned that non-profit organizations did not spend donations wisely. Organizations need to develop trust through transparency. Studies indicate that when a donor perceives the accurate use of donations in a timely manner, they are more likely to donate. This gives the donor the assurance that the donation was needed and used responsibly.

2. Groom your donor relationships with a sense of commitment. Lets face it; you’re not going to ask someone to the prom if you think they might switch schools before the big dance, and donors feel the same way. Donors are more likely to give to causes that display a worthiness of a donation. An organization that demonstrates longevity and devotion to a cause is prone to receive more gifts.

3. Generate a sense of satisfaction for the donor. It’s important to associate positive feelings within the giver. My mother will be the first one to admit that the look in her Black Lab’s eyes brings her as much joy as the treat in her hand evokes in her dog. If the donor is going to continue their support, the benefits must outweigh the costs of charity. The satisfaction of the donor leads to longevity and recommendations among others.

4. Establish a sense of control mutuality between the organization and the donor. Nobody wants to feel controlled. There must be a perceived balance of power and mutual esteem. The organization should strive to reciprocate the kindness of the giver in some form or effort.

These are just the tip of the iceberg examples for cultivating better donor relationships. Even profitable businesses can stand to gain from these relationship maxims.Your NGO or non-profit needs to plan and tailor a personal procedure based on these principles. Greg Fox of DonorPower says that “The future lies with those who serve the donors,” and that “Raising money the old way is getting harder and harder to do.”

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3 responses

2 12 2009
Amy Ruben

Bryan,

It is amazing how similar our topics are! Your research seems to go into a more personal level with donor relations than mine. It’s great to be able to combine our research to get different perspectives! I will definitely check out the articles you posted here.

2 12 2009
soupknife

Thanks Amy, I appreciate that. I was trying to ‘track-back’ your page. I will have to ask Tiffany how to do that. I thought WordPress did that automatically. I really liked your content as well.

5 12 2009
Top Student Blog Posts, Fall 2009 « The PR Post

[...] Four easy steps towards bigger donations by Bryan Longoria [...]

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